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Durable-Goods Orders Drop 4%

Wall Street Journal (02/28/12) Eric Morath; Tom Barkley

Orders for long-lasting U.S. goods fell a bigger-than-expected 4.0% in January, as demand for a broad array of products declined, the U.S. Commerce Department reported today. Manufacturers’ orders for goods designed to last at least three years decreased to a seasonally adjusted $206.09 billion. The 4.0% drop was much larger than the 1.1% decline economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected. Before January, durable-goods orders had increased the three previous months, including gains of 3.2% in December and 4.2% in November. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft declined by 4.5% in January—the biggest drop in a year—suggesting concern among businesses about the uneven economic recovery.